|Publication number||US7023525 B2|
|Application number||US 10/883,791|
|Publication date||Apr 4, 2006|
|Filing date||Jul 6, 2004|
|Priority date||Jul 24, 2001|
|Also published as||DE60227135D1, US6778257, US20030030781, US20040239909|
|Publication number||10883791, 883791, US 7023525 B2, US 7023525B2, US-B2-7023525, US7023525 B2, US7023525B2|
|Inventors||Arno Jan Bleeker, Pieter Willem Herman De Jager, Jason Douglas Hintersteiner, Borgert Kruizinga, Matthew Eugene McCarthy, Mark Oskotsky, Lev Ryzhikov, Lev Sakin, Stanislav Smirnov, Bart Snijders, Karel Diederick VAN DER Mast, Huibert Visser|
|Original Assignee||Asml Netherlands B.V.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (27), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (13), Classifications (14), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/200,577, filed Jul. 23, 2002 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,778,257, which also claims priority to European Patent Application EP 01202825.4, filed Jul. 24, 2001, both applications are herein incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates to imaging, especially projection imaging.
The term “programmable patterning structure” as here employed should be broadly interpreted as referring to any programmable structure or field that may be used to endow an incoming radiation beam with a patterned cross-section, corresponding to a pattern that is to be created in a target portion of a substrate; the term “light valve” can also be used in this context. Generally, such a pattern will correspond to a particular functional layer in a device being created in the target portion, such as an integrated circuit or other device (see below). Examples of such programmable patterning structure include:
A programmable mirror array. One example of such a device is a matrix-addressable surface having a viscoelastic control layer and a reflective surface. The basic principle behind such an apparatus is that (for example) addressed areas of the reflective surface reflect incident light as diffracted light, whereas unaddressed areas reflect incident light as undiffracted light. Using an appropriate filter, the said undiffracted light can be filtered out of the reflected beam, leaving only the diffracted light behind; in this manner, the beam becomes patterned according to the addressing pattern of the matrix-addressable surface. An alternative embodiment of a programmable mirror array employs a matrix arrangement of very small (possibly microscopic) mirrors, each of which can be individually tilted about an axis by applying a suitable localized electric field, or by employing piezoelectric actuation structure. For example, the mirrors may be matrix-addressable, such that addressed mirrors will reflect an incoming radiation beam in a different direction to unaddressed mirrors; in this manner, the reflected beam is patterned according to the addressing pattern of the matrix-addressable mirrors. The required matrix addressing can be performed using suitable electronic structure. In both of the situations described hereabove, the patterning structure can comprise one or more programmable mirror arrays. More information on mirror arrays as here referred to can be gleaned, for example, from U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,296,891 and 5,523,193, which documents are herein incorporated by reference, and PCT patent applications WO 98/38597 and WO 98/33096, which documents are herein incorporated by reference. In the case of a programmable mirror array, the support structure may be embodied as a frame or table, for example, which may be fixed or movable as required.
A programmable LCD array. An example of such a construction is given in U.S. Pat. No. 5,229,872, which document is herein incorporated by reference. As above, the support structure in this case may be embodied as a frame or table, for example, which may be fixed or movable as required.
An imaging apparatus is currently employed to make mask writing machines (e.g. by the Swedish firm Micronic). The substrate in such a mask writing machine is, for example, a metallized plate (e.g. a Cr-coated quartz or CaF2 plate) that has been coated with a layer of photoresist. The idea behind such a mask writing machine is that an electronic file of the mask pattern (which pattern is typically highly complex) is used to matrix-address the patterning structure, which then diverts a patterned radiation beam onto a small portion of the mask plate. By changing the pattern in the patterned beam in accordance with the electronic file, and concurrently moving the beam over the whole surface of the mask plate (in either a scanning or a stepping motion), the final mask pattern is built up as a sum of combined juxtaposed) sub-patterns from the patterned beam. For this reason, such a machine is sometimes referred to as a “mask writer”. A mask as produced by such an apparatus can be used in a lithographic projection apparatus, which repetitively images the mask pattern onto a photo-sensitive substrate—such as a photoresist-coated semiconductor (e.g. Si, Ge, GaAs, SiGe) wafer—as part of the broader manufacturing process involved in producing integrated devices, such as integrated circuits (ICs).
One factor limiting a wider use of mask writing techniques in lithographic projection practices (e.g. for direct writing to a substrate) is the very low throughput: whereas current direct-write machines might be expected to achieve a throughput on the order of one substrate per day, a state-of-the-art lithographic projection apparatus has a throughput of the order of 100 substrates per hour. Therefore, use of mask writing techniques for direct writing to a substrate is currently limited to those cases in which the cost of enduring a long writing process for each wafer is less than the cost of preparing a special mask for a low-quantity production run.
An imaging apparatus according to one embodiment of the invention includes a programmable patterning structure configured to pattern a projection beam of radiation according to a desired pattern. The programmable patterning structure includes a plurality of separate patterning sub-elements, each sub-element being configured to generate a patterned sub-beam. At least one of the separate patterning sub-elements is configured to generate a patterned sub-beam whose cross-section contains regions of different intensities. The imaging apparatus also includes a combining structure configured to combine the plurality of patterned sub-beams into a single patterned image, and a projection system configured to project the patterned image onto a target portion of a substrate.
A device manufacturing method according to another embodiment of the invention includes using a radiation system to provide a projection beam of radiation and generating a plurality of patterned sub-beams based on the projection beam. At least one of the sub-beams has a cross-section that contains regions of different intensities. The method also includes combining the plurality of patterned sub-beams into a single patterned image, and projecting the patterned image onto a target portion of a layer of radiation-sensitive material that at least partially covers a substrate.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings in which:
In the Figures, corresponding reference symbols indicate corresponding parts.
In a manufacturing process using a lithographic projection apparatus, a pattern (e.g. in a mask) is imaged onto a substrate that is at least partially covered by a layer of radiation-sensitive material (resist). Prior to this imaging step, the substrate may undergo various procedures, such as priming, resist coating and a soft bake. After exposure, the substrate may be subjected to other procedures, such as a post-exposure bake (PEB), development, a hard bake, and measurement/inspection of the imaged features. This array of procedures is used as a basis to pattern an individual layer of a device (e.g. an IC). Such a patterned layer may then undergo various processes such as etching, ion-implantation (doping), metallization, oxidation, chemo-mechanical polishing, etc., all intended to finish off an individual layer. If several layers are required, then the whole procedure, or a variant thereof, will have to be repeated for each new layer. Eventually, an array of devices will be present on the substrate (wafer). These devices are then separated from one another by a technique such as dicing or sawing, whence the individual devices can be mounted on a carrier, connected to pins, etc. Further information regarding such processes can be obtained, for example, from the book “Microchip Fabrication: A Practical Guide to Semiconductor Processing”, Third Edition, by Peter van Zant, McGraw Hill Publishing Co., 1997, ISBN 0-07-067250-4.
Although mask writing machines as described above have heretofore been used only in the manufacture of masks, it is possible—at least in principle—to use them in the manufacture of semiconductor and other integrated devices. In such a case, the mask plate would be replaced by, for example, a semiconductor wafer, and the pattern built up on the wafer by the patterning structure would correspond to an array of die patterns.
As noted above, however, a major drawback of such an application would be its very low throughput: whereas current direct-write machines might be expected to achieve a throughput of the order of one substrate per day, a state-of-the-art lithographic projection apparatus has a throughput of the order of 100 substrates per hour. Nevertheless, it might still be interesting to pursue such an application under certain circumstances. For example, in the case of a foundry making a small batch of a particular integrated device (such as a dedicated ASIC), it might be more attractive to endure a slow direct-write process as delivered by a machine as described above rather than to entail the very high costs (often of the order of $50,000–100,000) of making a special mask for the batch in question. At the moment, such a choice might only be commercially viable in the case of a very small batch of a very expensive device; however, it would become much more attractive if the throughput of direct-write machines could be increased. More information with regard to conventional lithographic apparatus as here described can be gleaned, for example, from U.S. Pat. No. 6,046,792, incorporated herein by reference.
A radiation system configured to supply (e.g. having structure capable of supplying) a projection beam of radiation (e.g. UV or EUV radiation). In this particular example, the radiation system RS comprises a radiation source LA, a beam expander Ex, and an illumination system including adjusting structure AM for setting an illumination node, an integrator IN, and condensing optics CO;
Patterning structure PM, comprising a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM) and pattern rasterizer PR (for matrix-addressing the SLM);
A substrate table WT configured to hold a substrate W (e.g. a resist-coated semiconductor wafer). In this example, table WT is connected to interferometric measurement and positioning structure IF, which is configured to accurately position the substrate with respect to lens PL;
A projection system (“lens”) configured to project the patterned beam. In this example, projection system PL (e.g. a refractive lens system) is configured to image the beam PB onto a target portion C (e.g. comprising one or more dies) of the substrate W.
The term “projection system” should be broadly interpreted as encompassing various types of projection system, including refractive optics, reflective optics, and catadioptric systems, for example. For the sake of simplicity, the projection system may hereinafter be referred to as the “lens”. The radiation system may also include components operating according to any of these design types for directing, shaping, reducing, enlarging, patterning, and/or otherwise controlling the projection beam of radiation, and such components may also be referred to below, collectively or singularly, as a “lens”. Further, the lithographic apparatus may be of a type having two or more substrate tables (and/or two or more mask tables). In such “multiple stage” devices the additional tables may be used in parallel, or preparatory steps may be carried out on one or more tables while one or more other tables are being used for exposures. Dual stage lithographic apparatus are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,969,441 and PCT Application No. WO 98/40791, which documents are incorporated herein by reference.
It should be noted with regard to
Having traversed the SLM, the beam PB passes through the lens PL, which focuses the beam PB onto a target portion C of the substrate W. With the aid of the interferometric measuring and positioning structure IF, the substrate table WT can be moved accurately, e.g. so as to position different target portions C in the path of the beam PB. In general, movement of the substrate table WT will be realized with the aid of a long-stroke module (coarse positioning) and a short-stroke module (fine positioning), which are not explicitly depicted in
If the mirrors of the SLM have to be demagnified by a factor of, e.g., 320, a part of this factor (for example, a factor of 4) may be realized in the projection optics PL. The remaining demagnification factor (here, 80) can then be realized in the optical system 41 of each of the channels for the individual spatial light modulators SLM1 to SLM6. Moreover, the contrast aperture (spatial filter) can be placed in these sub-beams.
Several fans can be positioned in this scenario (e.g. perpendicular to the plane of the drawing). Two fans have been indicated in the drawing, but more levels are possible. In general, the SLMs are positioned on a ball-shaped surface. A projection optics system PL re-images the images in plane IP onto the substrate W, e.g. with a reduction by a factor of 4.
Elements of the third and fourth embodiments can be combined. The layout of the system within the dotted box of
The following calculation example demonstrates how the entire width of a die may be filled in a single scan: To provide a 25 mm image at the wafer, with 100 nm pixels, indicates 250×103 pixels. Each pixel is printed with 2 mirrors in each direction, yielding 500×103 mirrors in a non-scan direction. State-of-the-art SLMs have 2048×512 mirrors, so at least 250 SLMs have to be combined, or 125 in each of the two directions of the beam splitter. If positioned in a row, this would mean a row of more than 8 meters (for 16 μm mirrors and 50% of the chip area filled with mirrors), which may not be a very practical solution. Alternatively, supposing 10 curved levels, an area of about 80×80 cm2 may be filled with SLMs, with a packing density of 50%, for a more practical result. The slit width during scanning is about 25 μm.
In an apparatus according to a tenth embodiment of the invention, which may employ an optical system as used in any of the embodiments described above, the spatial light modulators, respective optical systems, and projection system PL are arranged so that on the substrate, the gap between images of the spatial light modulators is exactly equal to an integer multiple of the height of a spatial light modulator. A lithographic apparatus according to such an embodiment therefore uses a scanning scheme that is explained with reference to
The working of the combining structure in this instance is such that the SLMs are placed on a carrier plate CP and imaged onto a substrate with a conventional projection system (not depicted). By arranging the SLMs on the carrier plate in a staggered pattern, the full area of the substrate can be exposed. Adjacent rows of spatial light modulators are placed so that there is an overlap between SLMs in the direction perpendicular to the scanning direction Y, the size of the overlap being determined by the placement accuracy of the SLMs. The substrate image is preferably built up from a number of sub-exposures (e.g. 4), so as to reduce the possible effects of dose errors. Accordingly, in this example the radiation source is pulsed every time the carrier plate has moved one-quarter of the length of the SLM. For the final group of pixels in each SLM, the illumination is attenuated to allow control of the dose delivered at substrate level. The optical field is limited by the maximum radius of the first lens element in front of the SLM; in the case of conventional lithographic projection apparatus lenses, this value will be of the order of about 10 cm.
Since not all the area of the carrier plate CP is used, and because the opening angle at each spatial light modulator is small, it is possible to segment the first lens in the projection system PL, thus reducing the size and amount of refractive material (e.g. quartz or CaF2) needed.
The segmented lens SL expands the projection beam PB from the radiation system and also reduces the patterned beam from the spatial light modulators so that the beam splitter BS and projection system PL can be comparatively small in size. Of course, two or more segmented lenses may be used, depending on how quickly the sub-beams from the spatial light modulators diverge and are brought together in the optical system.
The carrier plate according to the eleventh embodiment, carrying multiple spatial light modulators, may also be used in place of the single spatial light modulators in any of the above-described embodiments.
In an imaging apparatus according to a twelfth embodiment of the present invention, which may make use of the optical arrangements of any of the above embodiments, the images of the spatial light modulators are arranged as shown in
As can be seen in
The arrangement shown in
Alternatively, the depicted arrangement can be achieved with spatial light modulators arranged as convenient, with their images being brought to the object plane of the projection system PL in the layout depicted. In this case, each of the hatched areas in the picture may be an image of an array of spatial light modulators rather than just one spatial light modulator, so that there is effectively an array of arrays.
An arrangement of images in an imaging apparatus according to a fourteenth embodiment of the invention uses a further alternative arrangement of images, depicted in
An arrangement of images in an imaging apparatus according to a fifteenth embodiment of the invention may be particularly applicable where the active areas of the spatial light modulators are contained in large packages and can make use of off-the-shelf spatial light modulators with little or no modification. As
An arrangement of images in an imaging apparatus according to a seventeenth embodiment of the invention uses an arrangement of images as shown in
An arrangement of images in an imaging apparatus according to a eighteenth embodiment of the present invention maximizes throughput by using eight rows R1–R8 of images to cover a large field F, as shown in
Imaging apparatus according to certain embodiments of the invention as described herein may provide a greatly improved throughput as compared to existing mask writing apparatus. Such imaging apparatus may be used to manufacture integrated circuits and other (semiconductor) devices, as a commercially attractive alternative to the use of a conventional lithographic projection apparatus (employing a mask) for this purpose.
An imaging apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention employs a plurality of patterning sub-elements, each of which may, for example, be as large as the whole patterning structure in an existing direct-write apparatus. Because the sub-beams from these sub-elements are combined to produce a composite image, the throughput of the whole may be very much improved over that of an existing apparatus. This approach may be much more satisfactory than attempting to increase the size of a (single) patterning structure, since such a size increase would be accompanied by very significant (if not insurmountable) manufacturing difficulties. In particular, the chance that a mirror array, for example, would contain one or more defective mirror “pixels” would increase dramatically as the size of the array increased, leading to a drastically reduced yield and, thus, significantly increased manufacturing costs. Moreover, it is generally easier to supply data (for matrix-addressing purposes) to a plurality of patterning sub-elements as in an apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention, than to supply such data to a single, enlarged patterning structure.
Although specific reference may be made in this text to the use of the apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention in the manufacture of ICs, it should be explicitly understood that such an apparatus has many other possible applications. For example, it may be employed in the manufacture of integrated optical systems, guidance and detection patterns for magnetic domain memories, liquid-crystal display panels, thin-film magnetic heads, DNA analysis devices, etc. The skilled artisan will appreciate that, in the context of such alternative applications, any use of the terms “wafer” or “die” in this text should be considered as being replaced by the more general terms “substrate” and “target portion”, respectively.
In the present document, the terms “radiation” and “beam” are used to encompass all types of electromagnetic radiation, including ultraviolet radiation (e.g. with a wavelength of 365, 248, 193, 157 or 126 nm) and EUV (extreme ultra-violet radiation, e.g. having a wavelength in the range 5–20 nm).
Whilst specific embodiments of the invention have been described above, it will be appreciated that the invention as claimed may be practiced otherwise than as described. For example, the principles of the invention may be applied not only in the manufacture of devices (such as semiconductor devices) with a heightened throughput, but apparatus according to embodiments of the invention may also be used to write masks at greatly increased speed. It is explicitly noted that the description of these embodiments is not intended to limit the invention as claimed.
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|U.S. Classification||355/65, 355/77, 355/30, 355/53|
|International Classification||H01L21/027, G03B27/54, G03F7/20, G03B27/52, G03B27/32, G03B27/42|
|Cooperative Classification||G03F7/70283, G03F7/70291|
|European Classification||G03F7/70F14, G03F7/70F14B|
|Jul 6, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V., NETHERLANDS
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Owner name: ASML NETHERLAND B.V., NETHERLANDS
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